Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 15/Road Game 7

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS (4-6-4) at Kansas City Royals (6-5-1)
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 – 1:05 p.m. | Surprise
RHP Dan Haren (0-0, 1.50) vs. LHP Jason Vargas (0-0, 0.00)
Spring Game 15/Road Game 7
Television/Radio: SNLA/None

(Dee Gordon signs for a young fan, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

BLUES BROTHERS: The Dodgers and Royals square off for their only meeting of the spring today at Surprise Stadium. The clubs will meet again in the regular season, June 23-25 at Kauffman Stadium, for the first time since 2005 and Kansas City holds a 4-2 advantage in the all-time series.
  • The Dodgers made a flurry of roster moves over the last 24 hours, reassigning RHP Red Patterson to minor league camp this morning following yesterday’s moves of optioning RHP Matt Magill and reassigning C JC Boscan, RHP Carlos Frias, INF Brendan Harris and INF Clint Robinson to minor league camp.
  • Minor league position players suiting up today include C Webster Rivas (#89), C Kyle Farmer (#88), OF Noel Cuevas (#92), OF Trayvon Robinson (#93), INF Daniel Mayora (#91), INF Aaron Bates (#95), INF Darnell Sweeney (#84), RHP Craig Stem (#96), LHP Danny Coulombe (#83), RHP Sam Demel (#38).

GREAT SELECTION OF TIES: The Dodgers registered their fourth tie of the spring yesterday, 8-8, against the A’s. Andre Ethier (2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI) and Juan Uribe (2-for-3, HR, RBI) gave the Dodgers the early lead with first-inning home runs and, along with Hanley Ramirez (2-for-3, R), finished the day with multi-hit games. Hyun-Jin Ryu delivered 5.0 strong innings, allowing just one run on three hits, and lowered his spring ERA to 2.45 in three starts. Kenley Jansen closed out the game with a 1-2-3 ninth inning and has allowed just two hits in 4.0 scoreless innings in four appearances this spring.
  • The Dodgers’ record for ties in a spring is five, set in 2006 (15-13-5).
(Hyun-Jin Ryu, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

LIEUTENANT DAN: Dan Haren will make his third start of the spring today after tossing 4.0 scoreless innings in his last start on Thursday against the Angels in Tempe. The 33-year-old has allowed just one run in 6.0 innings this spring and finished the 2013 campaign on a roll, going 6-3 with one save and a 3.14 ERA in his final 13 games with Washington (12 starts) after July 27.
  • The Monterey Park, CA, native faced the Royals once last year and allowed four runs on eight hits in 7.0 innings in a no-decision (eventual 6-4 Washington defeat) on Aug. 25 at Kauffman Stadium. Haren has gone 5-2 with a 2.77 ERA (23 ER/74.2 IP) in 11 career starts against Kansas City.
  • Backing Haren today will be Jose Dominguez (last pitched on March 8 vs. SEA, 2.0 IP, 0 R, 1, H, 1 BB, 3 K), Javy Guerra (last pitched on March 9 vs. SF, 1.0 IP, 0 R, BB, K), Paco Rodriguez (last pitched on March 8 vs. SEA, 1.0 IP, 0 R, K), Chris Withrow (last pitched on March 8 vs. SEA, 1.0 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 H, BB, 2 K) and Jamey Wright (last pitched on March 8 vs. SEA, 2.0 IP, 1 R, 2 H, BB, WP).
  • Dominguez (5.0 IP), Guerra (5.0 IP) and Rodriguez (3.0) are all unscored upon this spring.

BASE BANDIT: Dee Gordon has the day off today, but the 25-year-old has had quite a spring on the base paths, as he leads all big leaguers in steals with eight (8-for-8 in SB attempts). Despite playing in only 181 games since 2011, Gordon ranks 16th in the NL with 66 steals and has been successful on 77.6% of his stolen base attempts in the big leagues (66-for-85).
(Andre Ethier's home run swing, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE!: The  Dodgers will open the 2014 season 11 days from today (!) against the D-backs in MLB’s Opening Series in Sydney, Australia. The historic Sydney Cricket Ground has been undergoing renovations to prepare for the first-ever MLB games to be played Down Under. The club will depart Arizona following its March 16 game against the Rockies and land in Sydney on March 18. Following a few days of workouts and sightseeing, the Dodgers will play Team Australia in an exhibition on March 20 and then take on the D-backs on March 22 and 23 to open the regular season.
  • Clayton Kershaw will be the Opening Day starter for the first game against the D-backs in the 2014 Opening Series in Sydney, Australia. This will mark Kershaw’s fourth consecutive Opening Day start for the club and he has not allowed a run in his three previous outings (19.0 IP). The left-hander has racked up 19 strikeouts in his three Opening Day starts against the Giants (2013 – SHO, 2011 – 7.0 IP) and Padres (2012, 3.0 IP, exited game due to illness). Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch the second game in Australia.

ALL-STAR TEACHERS: Yesterday, Major League Baseball, Target Corp and PEOPLE announced the “Target Presents PEOPLE All-Star Teachers” campaign, which celebrates remarkable current and retired teachers who make an impact on the lives of their students and communities. All-Stars Adrian Gonzalez and Carlos Beltran will lend their support to the initiative by encouraging fans to nominate an outstanding teacher beginning today through May 6 at AllStarTeachers.com. Nominees will have the chance to represent their favorite team and be honored during the pre-game ceremony of the 2014 MLB All-Star Game on July 15 on FOX. MLB, Target and PEOPLE will review nominations and select three teachers per MLB team, with the 90 finalists to be announced on June 5. From June 5 through June 29, fans will be encouraged to visit AllStarTeachers.com to read nominees’ submission stories and vote for their favorite teachers.  All 30 winners, one representing each MLB Club, will be announced during All-Star Week.
(Uribe, Punto and Puig, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

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Sydney Cricket Ground Metamorphosis - I Now Dub Thee, the Sydney Baseball Diamond

A couple of weeks ago, I shared some photos found on twitter of some of the early work being performed to transform the pitch at the Sydney Cricket Ground into a Baseball diamond.  Since that time, they've progressed nicely.  Check out what I mean below.

BTW, you should check out the facebook page for the Sydney Cricket Ground.  They have a whole slew of photos detailing the work being done.  Go here for that.  All of the pics in this post is from there (with exception of the last two).

I am fascinated by the transformation. They had to change and add just about everything.  They put in dirt and clay for the infields, created warning tracks and an outfield wall.  They even built dugouts that didn't exist before.  The work they've had to do is rather breathtaking.

Last week, they put in home plate and started aligning the bases.  They also started work on the pitchers mound.  As you can see below, they measured its height, then compacted and smoothed out the clay.

Below is a view of the Dodgers dugout.  This did not exist before.  From what I understand, seat were located there.

The outfield wall is starting to take shape.  They used crushed terracotta for the warning track.
(Outfield wall and warning track, pic via @CookMurray on twitter)

Here is a view of the right field foul pole.
(Right field foul pole, pic via @cookmurray on twitter)

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The Sandy Koufax 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet

Here is another post featuring the 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet set.  Go here to see my past post showcasing this set; including complete scans of both the Vin Scully/Jerry Doggett and Don Drysdale booklets.  This time I share the Sandy Koufax Booklet.

There isn't much I can write that you probably don't already know about Sandy Koufax.  So, I'll take a couple of snippets from the below booklet in hopes it unearths something new.
Statistician Allan Roth of the Dodgers (I guess the Dodgers were moneyball back then), who has at his fingertips enough exotic information to confound most experts, has revealed that Sandy Koufax gets two strikes on 54% of the batters he faces.  Of course, it's that third strike that's the trick.

Roth, however, also reveals that Sandy throws about 155 pitches a game, which not only is a lot of pitches, but the highest number on the Dodger staff.  The boys foul off a lot of Sandy's close ones and look at a lot of his curves.
Allegations persist that the Dodgers twice declined to swap Koufax to Kansas City for Roger Maris.  Greater regard for one left arm hath no club, it would seem.
I can't imagine how different Dodger history would have been if the above trade was consummated.  Would the potential of a 61 home run season by Maris in Blue erase any disappointment in seeing Koufax pitch for another club?  Would Maris even come close to hitting that many dingers at Dodger Stadium without the protection of a Mickey Mantle in the lineup?  In 1961, the Dodgers played at the Coliseum.  Would Maris have hit that many with the short, but tall left field wall?  I am getting a headache just thinking about it.

Below are complete scans of every page from Sandy Koufax's 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet.  Click any pic to embiggen. 

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Blog Kiosk: 3/11/2014 - Dodgers Links - Some Recent Dodger Roster Moves

We see you, Hanley... Even in cardboard form.  Pic via @Dodgers on twitter.
On Wilson: "The reason I ended up going out there was because Rick [Honeycutt, pitching coach] said he saw something. As Greg is talking to him, he said he's not hurting anywhere. He did say he warmed up a long time that inning," Mattingly said. "He sounds fine."
On League: "Obviously we're not happy with the results. Brandon's not happy with the results," Mattingly said. "We continue on, we're glad it's spring training. He's getting work, and you've got to continue to get better and get the ball where you want to get it. His velocities are up, pretty much where we expect him to be."
  • GCRL shares a in-the-mail autograph success story featuring former Dodger hurler Ricky Nolasco.

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